I was in Tokyo for a about a week so no updates, sorry!! I know, I know, it IS possible to update when I’m not at home but I just didn’t quite get round to it! Of course the main reason I was in Tokyo was the Tokyo Game Show and I will put some pictures up from that (only pictures of cute things though!) but I haven’t put them on my computer yet so in the meantime: Sanrio Puroland. We went there on the Tuesday after TGS.

You know how lots of people in Japan seem to really, seriously love Disneyland/Disneysea? Sometimes people even say things like “It makes me happy” or “It gives me dreams”. OK, so I can never imagine myself feeling that way about Disneyland because (Sssh, secret!) I’m not much of a Disney fan. Sanrioland on the other hand, made me feel the way I imagine Disney fans feel at their theme park of choice.

It’s amazing of course! It’s in the middle of this nothing area. All grey, mid height buildings and businesses and then suddenly this massive pink castle, right next to a road. It’s a little bit rusty and tumbledown on the outside but inside it’s fantastic. Once through the ticket barriers you look ahead and see this giant fake tree (“The Wisdom Tree”) and all these little nooks and pathways all around it, it’s hard to figure out where to go first!

First we went on the boatride. It was very cute but I have to admit I was a little scared! We were in a  boat, alone, and as you go along, little scenes light up with music and voices. I was distracted enough by the cuteness not to be too freaked out but ever since a terrifying walkthrough ride featuring historical scenes and sinister talking cats I went to with my Mum and brother in Weymouth when I was little I’ve been pretty scared of rides like this (Darkrides I think they’re called?).

OK, the rest of the place offered no complicated cute-fear combinations, it was all cute. We saw a show in the Discovery Theatre (Golden Age of sci fi inspired!) featuring Cinnamon, two lovely dancing ladies in awesome costumes and the audience participation catchphrase “Power of…communication!” I normally HATE audience participation but…I participated, I even did the whole making-a-heart-with-your-hands gesture! Loser!

The Kitty Lab attraction is fascinating too. A mini Kitty village! I was really bad at most of the games but never mind! Kitty’s house is adorable. Although…if you were Kitty, would you really want a pink bath shaped like your own head? Or a mirror? Or a sofa? Isn’t that a little weird really?!

Managed not to buy tooo many things. Bought elaborate bentos purely for the packaging rather than the actual food and found Tuxedo Sam goods which are almost never available! Also met some characters and went slightly mental cause they’re so impossibly cute. Especially Mocha with her sad eyes!! She kept looking up at me and making hug movements with her arms! Yes I know it’s a person in a costume!!

So you see..you really should go to Sanrio Puroland. It made me feel relaxed, happy and amazing. It gave me dreams!! ;P

Here is a massive gallery of photos to look at, enjoy!

And now I am going to try to tidy away all the stuff that came back with me from Tokyo :( Will try to update again this evening!

Overdue, I know. Also, I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures because I didn’t take my camera *gasp!* so any pics are from my phone or Danny’s phone. I know, why didn’t I take it? We-ell..I just decided that I didn’t feel like carrying it around and I didn’t want to spend the whole time looking for cool stuff to photograph. I just wanted to walk around, feel good, listen to music and be! I do love taking pictures, really, it’s just that…well my gig pictures never look thaaat great anyway and I wanted to be unencumbered! It was a good idea, I think. I mean, it was insanely hot of course so…the less to carry around the better really! Of course within minutes of getting there we’d bought T-shirts and the most awesome bag ever (it has Morten Harket’s face on it) but they weren’t so heavy. Anyway…

I’ve been to a lot of gigs over the years but not a lot of festivals. I think this year’s Summer Sonic was the closest I’ve come to a ‘Perfect Festival Experience’. OK-no camping. I know for some people that’s a great big deal but I hate camping so the lack of tents was a bonus to me! Also the line-up, while good, wasn’t perfect or anything. I loved it though. I went last year too and I spent quite a bit of time feeling kinda stressed out. I still enjoyed it, I just felt a little frazzled and missed out on a lot of bands I wanted to see through sheer exhaustion. This year felt a lot more chilled out. We went down to the front more often and danced more! Maybe the dancing helped. It sounds lame but, dancing surrounded by hundreds of other people dancing just makes me feel really happy and free. It makes me feel like -Hippy Alert!-everyone is connected.

Here is a list of the bands/singers we saw:

7th August:
One OK Rock, the pillows, The Drums (end of set only), Band of Horses, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Jonsi, Stevie Wonder

8th August:
Hurts (end of set only), Yes Giantess, Two Door Cinema Club (end of set only), Delphic, Passion Pit, a-ha, The Offspring, Jay Z (beginning of set only), Calvin Harris

One OK Rock were good at SHOUTING VERY LOUD. The pillows were very happy and self deprecating. The singer stopped a few times to go “Atsui desu ne?” (“It’s hot, right?”) and to comment on what was playing on the loudspeakers over on the main stage. I really thought they were going to launch into ‘Jump’ by Van Halen at one point! Band of Horses were lovely and had pretty background visuals (I wish they’d played ‘Monsters’ though!). BRMC were great, we were almost right at the front for them. I’ve only ever owned their first album and hearing them really reminded me of high school. It was one of my ‘zoning out’ CDs. (‘Red eyes and tears, no more for you my love, I fear, no more tears, no more tears, I’m in love…’). Jonsi was the only artist of the weekend to make me cry a little (a-ha were close though!!). His voice is equally beautiful in real life, it really is unreal, like crystal, and heartbreaking. He looked like some kind of broken angel on stage. Heart rending.

And Stevie Wonder? Wow, what a special guy! He had me from the moment he stepped on stage dressed in head to toe white and playing a white keytar (which he proceeded to play lying down and then behind his head). His backing singers were awesome. How much would I love to be a backing singer!? I want to sing and do very literal mimes! Their miming for ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’? Immaculate!! They mimed signing something, folding an envelope and handing it to someone! Me too please! At one point he had the crowd chanting “Free, from racism!”, “Free, from poverty!” and so on. He brought some of his children on stage and later professed his conviction that he’s “Gonna have some more children, yeah!”. He sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and invited everyone to record it so that, in case today was not their birthday, they could play it when it was their birthday and remember this moment! Oh wow. My cynical little heart melted into a puddle. It was such a warm, lovely performance. Everyone seemed really happy, loved it. Thanks, Stevie Wonder.

Next day we started off with Yes Giantess. They were pretty energetic and fun. Two Door Cinema Club was PACKED and had a moshpit and everything.  Delphic I quite liked and danced around to a lot. Passion Pit are one of those bands I’ve failed to check out but have been meaning to. Really liked them. A-ha were, of course, fabulous. Morten Harket looks amazing. No ‘Manhattan Skyline’ though!! They finished with ‘Take on Me’ and as they left the stage Magne Furuholmen muttered something like “What else could we play?”. Not angrily, more cheerfully matter-of-factly! This was their last ever gig in Japan (not that I ever REALLY believe artists when they say ‘Farewell Tour’…) so lots of people were shouting stuff like “Morten!! Thank you so much!!”, “I love you!” and so on. Some people were waving little Norwegian flags! Incidentally this was the only show where there appeared to be someone passing out in the audience. She didn’t, she clung on to the railings but she really, really looked like she was about to faint the whole way through…

After a-ha we saw The Offspring and the start of Jay Z (pretty lights) then headed over to the Dance Stage to catch Calvin Harris’ DJ set. I was terribly tired but threw myself into dancing for the next hour anyway. It was so much fun. No one pushing, everyone just jumping around like crazy and throwing their hands in the air. Lovely. So left the festival feeling hippie-ishly mellow :)

Lantern Love

September 13, 2010

A  lantern festival in Tado. It was small and pretty and a little mysterious. In the dark, Tado feels like a little floating island.

Osaka sans Summer Sonic

September 6, 2010

I have a post on Summer Sonic all written up and ready to go BUT without photos it’s no good and all the photos are on Danny’s computer/on my phone. Heat induced laziness has prevented me from copying them onto my computer! Yeah…heat induced laziness…that’s my excuse! It’s a pretty good one though, kind of. Japan is apparently getting record high temperatures and it’s not gonna calm down til the end of September! Oh help.

Anyway, so here  are some photos from Osaka earlier last month:

Finally started watching Deadwood recently. I’ve been meaning to for ages and ages but it’s one of those things…there are so many series and so many films it’s hard to find time for all of them. So anyway, Danny started watching it recently and I thought “OK,  cool, maybe I’ll watch, maybe I won’t” and then I got totally sucked in.

 It really is awfully good. I’m not a particularly big Western fan or anything but it’s really fascinating! And after watching it (well, season one so far) I’ve been looking up all this stuff about the old west and personalities of the time. Once I found out that some of the characters were based on real people I spent a whole hour looking them up and reading about them and then moved on to reading about other personalities of the time. There are even photos of some of them! Standing outside saloons, all dressed up or all dressed down.

It also, and don’t laugh, reminded me of the Little House on the Prairie books! I used to love them when I was little and, OK, they’re not similar but…I think I’m just really fascinated by the idea that there were people just travelling, showing up somewhere and, regardless of who might already be living there …making a town! I can’t quite get my head around the idea that people actually did it.  Just showed up, pitched tents, then started building things and making a society. And the fact that it worked!! The towns evolved, Deadwood is still there!! It’s crazy! Tents – modern day town!

I don’t know why this is all so exciting to me. It’s not like I was totally unaware of this part of history it’s just really interesting the more I think about it. As I’m sure everyone who already watched Deadwood like, when it was ON TV, is already aware!